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Starliner ship. Boeing's first manned mission canceled just before launch

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Boeing's Starliner did not make the first manned flight to the International Space Station (ISS). A mission with two astronauts on board on Monday was canceled due to a fault in the launch vehicle.

Two NASA astronauts, Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita “Suni” Williams, were already strapped in inside the spacecraft's capsule when the pre-launch countdown at Cape Canaveral, Florida, suddenly stopped. As engineer Dillon Rice of United Launch Alliance later reported, the cause was the discovery of a faulty oxygen valve in the upper stage of the Atlas launch vehicle. No new start date has been announced.

This was another delay of the first manned Starliner flight, which has been postponed for several years due to technical faults.

Boeing 'doesn't want to take any risk'

Rice said that because this will be the first manned flight, Boeing “doesn't want to take any risks.”

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The first Starliner launch in 2019, without a crew, ended in failure. The capsule entered the wrong orbit and did not reach the ISS, the flight had to be repeated. A series of further technical faults were later discovered.

10 years ago, NASA commissioned private companies, Boeing and Elon Musk's SpaceX, to develop and produce a vehicle to transport astronauts to and from the ISS. Unlike Boeing, Dragon Space X ships have been successfully performing orbital flights since 2020.

Starliner launch canceledNASA/Joel Kowsky/PAP/EPA

Main photo source: NASA/Joel Kowsky/PAP/EPA

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